- a suffix forming from transitive verbs nouns which denote a person who is the object or beneficiary of the act specified by the verb (addressee; employee; grantee); recent formations now also mark the performer of an act, with the base being an intransitive verb (escapee; returnee; standee) or, less frequently, a transitive verb (attendee) or another part of speech (absentee; refugee).
Origin of -ee
- indicating a person who is the recipient of an action (as opposed, esp in legal terminology, to the agent, indicated by -or or -er)assignee; grantee; lessee
- indicating a person in a specified state or conditionabsentee; employee
- indicating a diminutive form of somethingbootee
Word Origin and History for -ee
word-forming element in legal English (and in imitation of it), representing the Anglo-French -é ending of pps. used as nouns. As these sometimes were coupled with agent nouns in -or, the two suffixes came to be used as a pair to denote the initiator and the recipient of an action.